When the Harley-Davidson brand pulled the plug on its wildly-popular Iron 883 model, the MoCo knew it would be leaving a major gap in its lineup, though was also aware of just how difficult it would be to fill the shoes of the outgoing “entry-level” cruiser. This ultimately resulted in the launch of an all-new Nightster model last Spring, complete with an all-new visual design and an all-new chassis housing H-D’s new Revolution Max 975T engine. Despite not having spent much time on the market, the Black and Orange has already opted to treat the 883’s successor to a significant update in the form of the new 2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special.
While based on the existing Nightster platform, the Special-spec gains a host of visual tweaks, with the vintage-inspired cruiser now sporting a new headlight shroud, a rear-fender-mounted pillion (and passenger pegs), and retro tank graphics that pay homage to ‘70s era Sportster branding. Weighing 483lbs (at the curb), the Nightster Special’s ergonomics have also been tweaked, and see the regular Nightster’s bars set on risers, bringing them an inch closer to the rider and two inches higher. Offering 32° of lean angle in either direction, the cruiser’s frame has been paired with a dual rear shock setup and a 41mm SHOWA fork slotted in aluminum triples.
The Nightster Special is powered by the same motor used in the regular Nightster — a 59.5ci (975cc) V-Twin with electronic sequential port fuel-injection and a downdraft intake that’s good for 90hp and 70ft-lbs of torque. Riding on a cast aluminum wheel design shod in Dunlop rubber, the Nightster Special also boasts Brembo braking hardware, with a four-pot caliper up front chomping down on a 320mm disc and a single-piston item out back paired with a 260mm rotor. Other noteworthy changes to the Special variant include all-LED lighting, a tire pressure monitoring system, a USB port, cruise control, and Bluetooth-equipped 4” circular TFT display, all as standard. Traction control, ABS, and engine braking are also standard amenities on the Nightster Special.
Available in Vivid Black, Black Denim, Bright Billiard Blue, and Industrial Yellow color options, the 2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special is available now, with pricing starting at $14,999.